Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Waiting for spring

The ice on this snowmaking pond is still strong enough to hold a pair of Canada geese, but that won’t last long.  A sure sign of spring is that these paired geese have already staked a claim for the pond.  For reasons unknown to me as a human, this pond is the gold standard for nesting Canada geese on Roundtop. This is the pond they all fight over, and the losing geese then make do with a nest site on one of the other ponds atop the mountain.

The geese that win the fight to nest here do so in the exact same spot each year on the north side of the pond.  I’ve lived here long enough now to be certain that it’s no longer the original pair of geese who nest here.  But since the nest site is in the same spot as it was 20 years ago, I’m pretty sure this pair contains at least one individual who was hatched there.

Each year a few other pairs of geese attempt to own the pond, and they are eventually driven off. Sometimes a single goose attaches itself to the nesting pair, and I’ve always assumed this was a youngster that was hatched the previous year.  A nearby, smaller pond offers the second-best goose nest.  Two rocks, one leaning against the other offer a safe spot with good protection from poor weather.  Geese always nest under those two rocks.  I suspect it’s only the pond’s smaller size that drops it from the top of the favored goose site.

A third pond is much bigger but offers little cover or trees along the edge.  It’s also the newest pond and didn’t exist until about 8 years ago.  Still, if I was a goose I’d like all that extra room and that would be the location I would favor.  But I’m not a goose, so there’s no accounting for why the top geese prefer this smaller pond.

1 comment:

Sharkbytes said...

Very interesting. One has to wonder what the real criteria are.